Blaming others for outbursts of anger

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Thursday

Angry people often blame circumstances for their rage when it is circumstances trigger what’s already within.

I was second in line at a cellular phone outlet. The customer ahead of me began viciously screaming at the salesman. When encouraged to calm down he pointed at the salesman as if he himself was powerless over his own angry response. The man apparently sincerely believes his angry outbursts are the responsibility of others.

In backed up traffic I saw a vivid illustration: On my left a man was pounding his fists, waving his arms, and some poor soul was getting the thrust of his anger over the phone. To my right the driver was apparently listening to something really funny and the traffic hadn’t gotten to her at all.

It would be easy to suggest the man was in a hurry and the woman was not.

Actually, the one is angry, and the other is not.

The traffic is the catalyst.

Few angry people seem to understand that anger and happiness and joy and forgiveness and resentment and generosity are all inside jobs.

It’s a tough lesson for those prone to rage, but, when a willing learner understands it and does something about it, it brings huge changes and relief to a person and usually to an entire family.

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